CoA Files Amicus Curiae Brief in EPA Case

Image source: Flickr user brandonwu

Asks Court to Extend EPA Rule-Making Deadline for MACT Utility Rule

Cause of Action, along with the Institute for Liberty and the Center for Rule of Law, filed a motion in Federal Court supporting the Utility Air Regulatory Group's motion to modify an EPA rulemaking timeline. Specifically, CoA seeks to participate in the EPA's “Utility MACT” rulemaking to bring to the Agency's attention recently released materials that cast doubt on its fundamental assumptions concerning Utility MACT's impact on reliable electric service a

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nd, those assumptions being no longer reliable, the complete absence of data or information supporting the Agency's approach of ignoring reliability. Particularly, EPA assumes that its Proposed Rule would not impair reliability and ended its analysis there. Yet a detailed preliminary assessment undertaken by the Office of Electric Reliability of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demonstrates that Utility MACT is likely to cause far greater retirements of generating capacity than projected by EPA and pulls the legs out from under EPA's assumption of continued reliability.

According to a consent decree entered in this case, the EPA currently has until November 16, 2011 to promulgate final emissions standards, not nearly enough time to consider the new evidence the groups have brought forth. Thus, CoA and the other groups asked the court to extend that deadline in order for the EPA to take into account the new studies.

Image courtesy of Flickr user benchilada.

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CoA to National Mediation Board: Tell Us Who You Talked To

Cause of Action sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the National Mediation Board asking for documents related to various labor unions’ involvement in recent Board rulemaking.  Specifically, CoA is concerned by the National Mediation Board’s recent decision to advance a rule which allows only a small minority of all eligible employees to determine union representation.  For over 75 years, the Board conducted union representation elections according to the principle that a union would be certified as the collective bargaining representative only if a majority of the eligible employees in the relevant craft or class voted in favor of union representation. This “Majority Rule” is stated directly in the text of the Railway Labor Act, which provides that “[t]he majority of any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter.  On May 11, 2010, the NMB issued a final rule, effective June 10, 2010, allowing a union to be certified as a firm’s collective bargaining representative based on a majority of votes cast, therefore abandoning the Majority Rule in favor of a Minority Rule.

CoA is particularly troubled by evidence tending to show that this change in the rule was the result of a predetermined effort to advance a partisan policy agenda.

Read the CoA FOIA Request.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user atache.